Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The evolution of a team collector

About three years ago, I embarked on my first blog trades. Those were fun times. I think I spent all my free time sitting on the front step waiting for the mailman while I sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

If you go back and look at those first trade posts -- and I'm sure some of them are so sickeningly upbeat that you'll want to throw your laptop in the garbage, incinerate the trash can and truck the ashes to the Yucatan Peninsula -- you'll see me positively flip out over cards like 1992 Fleer and 1989 Upper Deck.

I needed a lot of Dodgers back then. An incredible, staggering amount. I was probably very, very easy to deal with as a collector. "This dude needs some '91 Fleer Dodgers? Well, isn't that darling? I've got 3,000 of them around here somewhere ..."

But three years and hundreds of trades later, I don't need that many Dodgers.

Well, let me rephrase that. I still need a lot of Dodgers. I just don't need as many.

Wait, let me rephrase that again. I hear my mother's voice in my ear.

I still want a lot of Dodgers. I just don't want as many.

So does that mean I'm trading less?

Not really. There happens to be a crapload of cards out there. I always end up with cards that fill holes in my collection. It's just that a much larger portion of the card packages are inserts, parallels, oddball sets and plain wacky stuff.

For instance, I pulled off my third trade with Adam, the Giants fan, recently. He's done an excellent job of ridding me of my excess Giants -- meaning almost all of them.

Here are just about all of the regular base cards that he sent in the package:

He actually sent several of the Aficianado cards, but I can only stomach them in small quantities, so that's all that you're seeing. He also sent a few more of the Topps Archive cards, but you're going to be seeing the '52 Topps design again later. I wouldn't want to overdo it, like ... ahem ... Topps.

The rest of the cards were inserts, parallels, oddballs and wacky stuff. Just how I like my cards these days.

Let's see what we've got:

All right, this is not exactly opening with a bang. I'm starting to think that the mid-2000s was a terrible time for inserts. But I suppose I deserve it, after sending Adam some of those Barry Bonds home run cards.

Jonathan Broxton underwent successful elbow surgery. He's supposed to recover quickly. Which is excellent news for the Blue Jays when they acquire him for 2012.

See? I told you there'd be more '52s. These are gold and shiny and should have an overhead light shining upon them for all of perpetuity. (Yes, I really threw "perpetuity" at you. You're welcome).

There was a lot of Campy in this card delivery. This is from the Dem Bums insert set from 2004. The 1955 Topps Roy Campanella card did not look like this. In fact, there was no 1955 Topps Roy Campanella card. Even young trade-happy Night Owl knew that three years ago.

I have no idea how many Rickey As a Dodger cards there are out there. I have 13. I'm sure I have a lot more to go. But at least I have a jump on young Night Owl.

This is a shiny version of the Rafael Furcal Attax card. Since it's the Attax game, I'm guessing there is a special name for these particular cards. But I don't know what it is, because I threw away the directions. That's a great excuse, by the way. Try it sometime. Any time you're asked to achieve something, shrug and say, "I threw away the directions." I bet it works maybe ... oh, 15 percent of the time.

Random non-Dodger card. It's Whitey Ford, in the 1961 World Series, when the Yankees played ... the Reds. Sorry, Whitey, I'm not letting you in the Dodger binder.

Mmmmmmini Jackie!!!!!!!! ... I have no more words.

But how about a few wacky items?

I periodically receive graded cards. I never know what to do with them. Graded cards still amuse me in a "my what have you done with that card, young man?" kind of way. I almost always bust them out of their plastic cell. But I'm not so sure about this one. I have this card already. Why would I want another?

This is one of those giant Pinnacle "card-within-a-card" cards. Cut 5x7 Mondesi in half and a regular-size random card spills out.

I am always tempted to do this. I received a Piazza version a while ago and was tempted then. But before I could cut it up, I lost it.

That's right, I LOST one of the biggest cards I own. I have no idea where it went. In fact, I lost two cards. Piazza and the baby card he had inside his womb.

Lastly, Adam sent an entire set of what I believe are 1998 Police set Dodgers. These are just some of them here. Not only do I appreciate landing another Hideo Nomo card, but I love having Dodger cards of Trenidad Hubbard, Mike Devereaux (the second tour), Tripp Cromer, Jim Bruske, and some guy I've never heard of before named Frank Lankford (he pitched in 12 games in '98).

Finding cards like these is a great way to my collecting heart.

I still do need your common base set cards. The want list still includes 1993 Donruss, 1994 Fleer and a ton of other common variety sets.

But 1990 Donruss?

Please keep it to yourself.


  1. Need, want. That must be a genetic thing for mothers.

    Since I recently organized my collection and found that I had 15 or 20 copies of some Rangers cards, I understand your position. It has been nice knocking cards off that wantlist since I posted them.

  2. You can send Adam my way. I have a ton of those Barry Bonds homerun cards that I couldn't even sell on feeBay. Seriously though, send him and any other team traders my way, I love to trade!

  3. Hey Night Owl! If your looking at getting rid of that graded card please let me know. Thanks!

  4. Glad you enjoyed the cards, sorry about the Whitey Ford. Been looking for a way to package those Police cards since we started trading and finally decided to tear them apart a little. They have been taking up way too much room since I got them at a game 13 years ago.